Friday, May 20, 2016

I Left My Heart In Cagbalete Island

It was an unplanned trip with only two weeks preparation. Pahiyas Festival was the only agenda why we planned going to Lucban Quezon, Joy's province, but when a bright idea of going to Cagbalete Island came into Joane's mind, from there things changed. I googled for reviews about this island that I  never heard until that time, and what I saw on those blogs made me decide to go with Joane's plans. May 13 - 15, 2016 were the days to remember.

Image from Google Earth
How We Got There.  We bought a JAC Liner ticket online, the aligaga side of me asked the girls to buy tickets ahead of time because it was a weekend and Pahiyas Festival at the same time. We went to the terminal just in time before the bus left for Mauban Quezon at 4 am Cubao Kamias terminal. It took us more than 4 hours because the bus picked up passengers along the way. At around 8 in the morning, we reached Mauban Quezon. We took a tricycle and told the driver to drop us to the market first to buy food to bring to the island. We bought fresh squid and pork, rice, and some grocery stuff Joy and Joane bought before the bus ride. From the market, a tricycle took us to the port Mauban. From there, it was an unfortunate event that the public boat just left at around 9 am, according to the port personnel, because there were many guests going to the island. When the boats get full, it will leave and not follow the schedule of 10 am and 1 pm according to the locals. So we waited and took photos after we paid P 50 per head for the environmental fee. At around 11:30 we were aboard the public boat named Anthony 2 going Port Sabang, Cagbalete Island. And we were just as happy!

At around 1 PM, we reached Port Sabang, a small boat courtesy of Villa Pilarosa was waiting for us there to take us to the resort. Yes! There was not one but two boat rides to endure! It was a small boat that I thought was not fair to accomodate the four of us (including the driver, or the banker whatever) because Joane's hips and mine did not fit in the wooden plank where we sat. Hush, I did not complain because I could already imagine how Joane would react since her hips are way bigger than mine, haha! By the way, it was not the boat ride that really bothered me, it was the transfer from one boat to another because the island has no dock area! We used that bamboo made platform from the public boat to get off and go to the other boat! Wew!!! But if you are renting a private boat you do not need two boat rides since it can take you to the resort you are going. Villa Pilarosa is on the other side of the island, far from the Sabang Port   that's why we needed another 15 minutes happy boatride. That is.

The view of the resort from the waters.
Villa Pilarosa. The Resort. The short boat ride from Port Sabang to the resort was very relaxing (except for the little pain on the hip and butt part), we were quiet during the ride, just the sound of the boat and the soft whisper of the wind in my ears while ogling the crystal clear waters, the sky, the spectacular view of the island from the water made all the journey really worth it. I was so sure we were going to enjoy our stay!
The cottage we rented, Photo above L-R Joy, Me, Joane
We rented a cottage for P 1,500 a night. It can accommodate 4 people. We did not choose an air conditioned room since it was a budget-out-of-the-original-plan travel. The walls are made of bamboo, the other upper half is wide open and only covered with curtains made of bamboo and fabric. We were a little worried because anybody can just come in by the windows and take away our important stuff while we were away but thankfully, none of our things got lost. Just a pack of Gardenia bread we left on the table and we suspected that a dog took it during the night while we were sleeping. I was right since that morning I saw the plastic near the coconut tree, torn apart and the bread was gone. But that's okay though, we love dogs, right girls? (They nodded)

The Mangroves. What lured me to the island were the photos I saw on the blogs where the mangroves were abundant. I have never had a closer look at the mangroves before, so I was really excited to check them out and wasted no time. They're so beautiful! Don't worry, no mangroves were destroyed nor harmed during our stay. We know we had to take care of them, and I'm a nature lover they're safe with me.
There were very few guests in the resort when we arrived, I took off my shirt, hahaha!

The water were starting to recede when we arrived early that afternoon. The resort staff told us that was the normal time the tide gets low, so the mangroves' roots were so visible, and the water would go up again in the morning, the perfect time to go swimming. But since it was low tide, we just enjoyed what was there. It was awesome!

The Sandbar. Photo below shows how the sea shore looks like during low tide. Fine grayish white sands, greenish silvery sparkling water and the panoramic view of the mountains in front, and thick greens and blue skies on the other side. Not the perfect time to swim (none of us is a swimmer so the beach is just perfect for us) so we just walked around, took photos, and talked about how we could find Joane's "forever" somewhere in  the island.

We waited for the sunset, but the jealous clouds hid her away. It was getting dark so we decided to go back to our cottage to clean ourselves and rest. We could hear crickets singing in unison coming from the dense part the island.  I was a little tired, but happy. It was one year ago when I last went to a beach. The long ride from Manila to Cagbalete Island is all worth it. The place was so peaceful and quiet, no little whiff of the chaos of the city. 

The Water.Morning came, I woke up at around 5 am. It was bright outside when I looked out the window. I tried to go back to sleep because the two girls were still sound asleep but I couldn't. Maybe I was too excited to swim. It rained that morning, and dark clouds covered the place until around 9 o clock. Yes, I wore my watch to keep track of time. We did nothing but dip in the water, we did not swim, we didn't know how to, hehehe. But we certainly enjoyed, judging by the color of our skin you can really tell. It's the brownest brown I ever had! :)

It was almost noon when we felt the need to go. We need to be on time because the boats won't wait for us. I had a heavy heart leaving this place. I wish I lived here. I wish I owned a house in this island so I could just sit by the porch reading my favorite book facing the the sea with the soft sound of the waves as my background music. I wish, I wish, I wish.....
Before we left the owner thanked us for our stay and asked us if we enjoyed. I answered yes with certainty and told her we plan to come back as a bigger group though I have little doubts that that would happen but keeping my ten fingers crossed because I would really love to go back.

Anyhoo, until next time Cagbalete Island. Careful with the piece of my heart left in there! :)

1 comment:

  1. Admin, if not okay please remove!

    Our facebook group “selfless” is spending this month spreading awareness on prostate cancer & research with a custom t-shirt design. Purchase proceeds will go to, as listed on the shirt and shirt design.



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